Pakistan - Punjab misses cotton sowing target by 10 percent
Dated- 08 Jun , 2012 - Pakistan
Punjab missed cotton sowing target by 10 percent due to 50 percent canal irrigation water shortage and delayed wheat harvesting this season, Director General Punjab Agriculture Extension Services Dr Anjum Ali told Business Recorder here on Thursday.
He said several factors contributed to less sowing of the country's most important and cash crop namely, non-availability of canal irrigation water at ripe time, 20 days delay in opening of non-perennial canals in south Punjab, delayed wheat harvest, unprecedented electricity load-shedding, sharp increase in diesel prices and minimal water supply in rivers during whole month of May 2012.
Dr Ali said that till 6th June 2012 cotton had been sown over 5.49 million acres in the core and non-core areas of the province whereas it was sown over 6.1 million acre last year on the same date. He said that cotton sowing in cotton growing south Punjab, especially in Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar districts has been very slow this season leaving one million acres of land still unsown.
Similarly, in the non-core cotton growing divisions of Faisalabad and Sahiwal, the cotton growers have sown other crops like maize, potato, vegetable, fodder etc on about 1.5 million acres other than cotton crop, as canal irrigation water was not available and running of tube wells on diesel was too expensive and uneconomical.
The provincial government had set a target of 6.2 million acres for cotton sowing during 2012-13 but it could not be more than 5.5 million acres this year Dr Ali apprehended that due to delayed sowing and less cropped area, Punjab might not get the last year's record cotton production of 12 million bales. Meanwhile, Punjab Irrigation engineers told this scribe that as the water availability in rivers had improved during the past six days.